Constellation Energy (CEG)
2008 Total compensation*: $1.43 million
Thayer worked at Deutsche Bank Securities and SBC Warburg Dillon Read in M&A before joining Constellation, a power and gas utility based in Baltimore with sales of $19.8 billion.
With the recession, Thayer is trying to improve liquidity, which he's already done by repaying a $500 million, 6% fixed-rate bond this fall.
Before joining Deutsche Bank, Thayer worked as operations manager for an AIDS prevention nonprofit in Uganda.
Source: Equilar Inc.
Note: To be eligible for the 20 highest paid list, candidates had to be 39 or younger on Nov. 1, 2009.